Electric Utility Fundamentals + Insights – Osmose – Virtual (Aug 11-12)

This program provides utility and service company employees a broader understanding of how the electric utility industry works, and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Participants gain a broader comprehension of critical issues affecting the electric industry, and the interaction between utilities and their stakeholders. Examples from your organization are incorporated into the curriculum to provide a unique, individualized training experience for employees. WEI also offers this course in Portland which is open to anyone. Contact WEI for more information.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Eastern time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
    • Wondering if this course is right for you or your staff…

      • Are you new to the energy industry?
      • Have you worked in just one or two areas of the organization?
      • Are you looking for a broader perspective of the business of electricity and emerging issues?
      • Do you work for a service provider to the energy industry who wants to learn more about your customer?

      f the answer is yes to any of these, this course was designed for you. 

  • Registration Options
  • Registration to this event is limited to employees or members of the host organization only and their invited guests. For more information on what course options are available to you please contact the Western Energy Institute.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Not Applicable
  • Participation Policy
  • Registration for this course is limited to employees of Host Member Companies only.
  • For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.


All sessions are in Eastern time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

GoToMeeting Open for Participants + Chat

The GoToWebinar will open at 9:30 AM in the morning. Please join early as we will start the class promptly at 10:00 AM.

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


We will review survey results on what people hope to get out of the class.

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Module 1: Fundamentals of Electricity

– Key influencers in the history of electricity
– Utility definitions and electricity terms
– Basics of how electricity is generated
– Electricity generation and “the Utility loop”
– Keys to power quality

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Module 2: North American Electricity Markets

– Service territories
– US Federal regulators and departments
– State regulation
– Canadian national and provincial regulation
– NERC regions
– Discuss all North American markets and Differences in each
– Energy balancing

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Break for Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Module 3: How Utilities Make Money

Part 1: Cost of Service Model
– Types of utilities
– Common organizational structures
– IOU CoS / Muni / PBR differences
– O&M vs capital and decision-making
– Utility capital investments
– Rate mechanisms / riders
– Cost of Service rate making exercise

Part 2: Municipal Ratemaking and Performance-Base Rates
– Changing regulatory models – i.e. MN and NY
– Current trends in rate-making
– Muni rates model
– Performance-based rates
– Rate allocation and tariff design

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

GoToMeeting Open for Participants + Chat

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Day 1 Review

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Module 4: Customers + Emerging Opportunities

– Types and expectations of electricity customers
– Customer care regulations
– T&D Operations
* Grid modernization
* Grid hardening
* AMI and how utilities use the data
– Impacts from COVID-19 on Utilities
– The Trusted Energy Advisor

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Module 5: Distributed Energy Resources + Module 6: Integrated Resource Planning

Distributed Energy Resources
– How DERs are impacting the distribution grid
– Energy storage
– Energy efficiency
– Electric Vehicles
– Distributed generation
– Demand response

Integrated Resource Planning
– Scenario planning and modeling
– Meeting demand with resource portfolios
– The preferred portfolio and vetting The IRP.

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Working Lunch and Wrap-Up

Review Appendix: Generation Choices
Circle back to the original expectations of students to ensure that expectations were met.

Meet The Speakers

Eric Christenson

Western Energy Institute

Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics

Jim Nicholson

Nicholson and Associates Consulting Company Limited